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19 Mar 2014

Arnaldo Vieira, Africa Review (Kenya)

Brazilian multinationals accused of 'slave labour' in Angola

Brazilian multinational Odebrecht and its service provider Pirâmide have been notified by the Brazilian Public ministry of allegations of slave labour conditions in the Angola operations...According to the report, 60 Brazilians and the Angolan working for the Biocom industrial project in Angola's Malanje Province...Biocom (Companhia de Bioenergia de Angola) is a local bio-fuel company that is preparing to produce sugar, ethanol and electricity for the domestic needs. To implement this project...Odebrecht partnered with Angola's state oil company Sonangol and the private firm Damer Indústria...“Some of them (workers) only returned to Brazil after being diagnosed with illnesses such as malaria, yellow fever and typhoid. They worked from Sunday to Sunday without rest and under severe sun,” Voice of America reported...However, Odebrecht and Pirâmide have denied the accusations in a statement.“There were good working conditions according to Brazilian and the Angolan law. The workers have had sufficient rest and leisure and those voluntarily willing to return Brazil were helped [to do so]”, the statement said...